Renault Technical boss Pat Symonds believes he has a car that can win races this year. I am not sure I can doubt Mr. Symonds as I place him very highly in the respected F1 mastermind category. Pat has proven time and again that given the right resources, he can build a car. What Renault did last year with a pig through mid-season development was nothing short of amazing. Fernando Alonso was the hottest driver in F1 in the second half of the season and the car improved dramatically.
“The target I set at the beginning of the season is always the same: to be winning races and challenging for the championship – it would be wrong to have any other intention,” said Symonds.
“However, when you start tempering your expectations with reality, you may moderate that target a little bit.
“Nonetheless, I do believe that we’ve got a car that is good enough to challenge for wins and when you combine that with our drivers and the team’s ability to go racing, I’m fairly confident we can deliver a strong start to the season.”
Having said that, I do hope they have the pace for Renault’s sake because if they do not; one of those “drivers” won’t be staying very long. So does Renault have it right? Have they sorted the engine performance issue with the help of the FIA’s dispensation? My guess is they have. I think Renault know they are behind the 8-ball this year and at risk of losing Fernando for good but let’s look at Fernando’s options. Going to Ferrari seems the obvious choice but Ferrari are probably keen to secure the talents of German Sebastian Vettel and Fernando doesn’t need that type of in-team rivalry. That leaves toyota and BMW which given their increase in performance over last year and potential this year; that may not be a bad option. Both of those teams would build around Alonso which is the exact thing he needs.
Fernando, for my money, may just be the best driver on the grid. He is the whole package and true heir apparent after Schumacher…sorry Lewis. Fernando’s on again, off again love affair with Renault has had me scratching my head for several seasons now but Fernando must know that the entire Renault team is built around him and with Pat Symonds at the helm of car creation, that’s not a bad place to be.